Resources and Tools for Elementary Math Specialists and Teachers

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Grade(s) 3 resources related to the following standard:
Measurement and Data
Geometric measurement: understand concepts of area and relate area to multiplication and to addition.
7. Relate area to the operations of multiplication and addition.
a. Find the area of a rectangle with whole-number side lengths by tiling it, and show that the area is the same as would be found by multiplying the side lengths.

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In this 10-page article (PDF) from NCTM the authors present a progression of models they believe can be used with third graders to connect concepts of arithmetic and geometry to understand the distributive property as outlined in the CCSS. They believe exploring the area of multicolor arrays makes the distributive property intuitive for third graders.
Reference Materials, Article
Grade Level: 3
Using square pattern blocks, algebra tiles, or paper, this cooperative activity introduces students to the concept of displaying a numeral as the area of rectangular arrangements. Student goals include understanding that some numbers can only be represented by two different rectangles that have either a length equal to one unit or a width equal to one unit (prime numbers); whereas other numbers can be represented by more than two different rectangles (composite numbers).
Activity, Lesson Plans
Grade Level: 3, 4
This 7-page article (PDF) describes a professional development activity utilizing a painting by Wassily Kandinsky to launch an investigation into the conceptual understanding of polygon classification and the area and perimeter of rectangles and triangles. The resource includes a five page activity sheet (PDF) linked on the main page.
Activity, Lesson Plans, Reference Materials, Article
Grade Level: 3, 4, 5